The Adventure Racing World Championship has been called a "a brutally tough endeavor" for the teams that compete in it. The race consists of up to 10 days of non-stop competition that involves trekking, mountain biking and other feats.
When the Swedish four-member team finished this year's championship race in Ecuador in 12th place, they were muddy and exhausted, but "happy and in good spirits" — and one team member richer.
According to the Peak Performance Adventure Racing team's website, the team was joined the second to last stage by a stray dog. They tried to shoo the pooch away, but he wasn't put off by joining them.
On land, the team helped the dog, which they eventually named Arthur, through muddy conditions. When they reached a kayaking portion though, the race organization advised them against bringing the animal.
"Mike, Simon, Staffan and Karen put their kayaks down in the water and set off, but Arthur refused to be left and started swimming," the team's website explained. "This was too heartbreaking for the team, and Mikael helped Arthur up in the kayak. This led to standing ovations from everyone on the shore, seeing the five (!) team mates set off.
"And yes, Dog Arthur was with the team all the way across the finish line. He took a few swims along the way of the paddling, but there was no doubt about him returning to the team. The story of the dog has become big in Equador – the race director told the team it was the 'best story ever' and a TV team was at the finish to meet the team with their new team mate."
After finishing the race, the team enjoyed a nice rest earlier this month in a hotel. Arthur stayed close by sleeping outside their room. But Arthur's story didn't end there.
The dog didn't leave them on the course and the team wasn't about to leave the country without their new mate. Over the weekend, all five team members got off the plane in Sweden.
Watch Arthur's homecoming (Note: the report is in Swedish):
Bringing Arthur back to Sweden was initially denied by the country's department of agriculture, but it later reversed its stance. The dog is now in 120 days of quarantine to avoid the possibility that he could spread new diseases or insects among other animals in Sweden.
After this time period, SVT reported that the 7-year-old dog will begin his new life with Michael Lindord's family.
(H/T: Daily Mail)